By Rose L. Thayer
Killeen Daily Herald
Clicking through photos from last year's Pink Heals Tour, the excitement in Michael DeHart's voice is obvious.
"Look at all the signatures on the truck," he said, pointing to the pink fire truck on the screen in his office.
"You don't know who you are going to touch with this thing," said DeHart, executive officer of the Fort Hood Association of Realtors. "It's an amazing, amazing situation."
For the second year, DeHart and the association will host the Pink Heals Tour - a nonprofit group of volunteers, mainly firefighters, who drive the pink trucks around the country for about two months to help raise funds to fight cancer.
Cancer survivors, people in treatment and their caregivers are encouraged to sign the trucks.
As a cancer survivor, DeHart knows what an inspiration these trucks can be. "Somebody is going to come here on Oct. 24, and it's going to be a life changing event for them," he said. "How can I not be high about that? Oh my God."
Several representatives from Bell County emergency response departments, Scott & White Hospital, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life and the Fort Hood Fire Department also will be on hand to share information and support local survivors and caregivers.
"It was a symbol - a symbol of hope, a symbol of awareness," said Jean Shine, local real estate agent and cancer survivor. "It raises awareness that we need to be aware of our bodies and our health all the time."
Shine showed up last year to sign her name onto the pink fire trucks. "I had no idea last year when I went that it would be that big of an event," she said. "It's kind of like seeing the American flag; you feel good. It's just a wonderful feeling. I hope that everyone will get a chance to see us."
Contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463.
If you go
The pink fire trucks are scheduled to be at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center from
4 to 7 p.m. Monday.
Michael DeHart, executive officer of the Fort Hood Association of Realtors, plans to share his survivor story around 5:30 p.m.
Music, T-shirts and health vendors will be available throughout the event.
On Tuesday, the trucks will be at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the hospital's breast cancer awareness month event. Walk-in mammogram screenings and breast self-exam information also will be available.
For more information on the Pink Heals Tour, go to www.pinkfiretrucks.org.